The Verigolds standard: mystique

"Technicolor journey that’s nearly impossible not to get lost in.” Zowie.

The Verigolds — Lenny dug 'em
  • The Verigolds — Lenny dug 'em

Having formed in 2014, the Verigolds are fairly new to the San Diego music scene. But the Pacific Beach foursome, known for their pastiche of ‘60s psychedelic rock and spacey synths, have made an impact in the past three years.

The Verigolds and Well Well Well

  • Saturday, April 29, 2017, 8 p.m.
  • Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $10

The indie rockers — Jenna Cotton (guitarist, keyboardist, lead vocalist), Eliot Ross (guitarist, strings, vocalist), Ben Smedley (vocalist, keyboardist) and Craig Schreiber (vocalist, drummer) — released their first single, “Crossfire,” in 2015 and soon followed with a trippy video filmed at Black’s Beach.

Last year, they introduced their nine-song debut album, For Margaret. Drawing inspiration from the classic (the Beatles, Pink Floyd) to the contemporary (the XX, Phantogram), the Verigolds appealed to both new fans and critics, with SoundDiego recognizing Margaret as 2016’s Album of the Year and praising it as “a Technicolor journey that’s nearly impossible not to get lost in.”

The band also landed some high-profile gigs, including a stint at Kaaboo, and last month they returned to the podium, this time at the San Diego Music Awards, to accept the trophy for Best Indie/Rock Album.

Looking forward to shows at Soda Bar on April 29 and Oysterfest on June 9, Cotton opened up about how they coaxed Schreiber into joining the band and made clear what she didn’t want to share.

For Margaret received a lot of positive recognition. What was the recording process like?

For Margaret was actually our demo album that we recorded in our garage with the help of Jerik Centeno [Small Culture]. We had some trouble finding the right studio and who to work with, so that’s when Eliot [Ross] decided to take it into our own hands and we started recording. It was a total learning curve. The whole process taught us the link between what we wanted and how to effectively communicate that. I think that’s one of the most difficult things when you’re starting out in a studio.

So many musicians today play in multiple bands. Is that the case for any of the Verigolds?

For the most part, this is everyone’s only project. Every now and then Craig helps out Jerik in Small Culture and gets freaky on the bass for live performances. 

What other local bands do you think are killing it right now? Well Well Well, who we are playing with at Soda Bar, and Star Jungle, which is a new project that freestyles the whole time — they are a good trip. We also love Mrs. Henry, Creature in the Woods, Boostive, Vakoum, Many a Moon, Midnight Pine/anything with Shelby Bennett, Grizzly Business, and the Lulls. 

What was your experience performing at last year’s Kaaboo fest?

Being behind the scenes at a huge festival like that is ridiculously fun. We hung out with “Uncle Mark McGrath” from Sugar Ray, shared a trailer with the Struts, drank tequila with Third Eye Blind, watched Hall and Oates side stage standing next to Jimmy Buffet. During our performance, I almost died when I saw Lenny Kravitz and his back-up singer, Jesse Wagner, watching us and grooving to our music.

Outside of the world of music, where is your happy place?

Nature. Big Sur. 

What can you tell us about your new music and follow-up album?

We are excited to announce that we have been working with Ed Stasium [Ramones, Talking Heads] on some new material, which we’ll be releasing soon as a couple more singles. With his help, we are taking things to the next level. It’s been amazing to work with someone like Ed who has such amazing experience under his belt and was part of a time period of music that we are very attached to. Our new song, “Walk on Water,” is very different from any other song we have done before. We have kind of developed this reputation where you don’t really know what we are going to do next. We don’t mean to do that, it’s just our flow of trying different things and pushing open different boundaries.

What’s one thing about you few people know?

Craig was a bass player and we bought him his first drum kit to lure him into playing with us. 

How did you guys agree on your name?

Our name is one of the things that we don’t like to tell people. No one but us really knows. It’s the same with who “Margaret” is. It’s just one of those things that we like to keep special.

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